Chief Khadi Sheikh Sharif Muhdhar has urged Muslims to help the poor while celebrating this year’s Eid ul Adha (Hajji) prayers tomorrow.
Hajji, the fifth pillar of Islam, is an obligation which must be carried out by every able-bodied Muslim at least once in their lifetime.
“I thank the government for declaring Monday a public holiday to allow Muslims attend the prayers and join their families and friends in celebrating the Eid festivals,” Muhdhar said.
Prayers to mark the day will start from 7.30am at various open grounds and mosques around the country. The Chief Kadhi will attend the Eid prayers either in Mombasa or Malindi.
The day begins with morning prayers, followed by the exchange of food and gifts with family and friends.
Muslims are obliged to share their food and money with the poor so they too can take part in the celebrations.
The Muslim leader also sent his best wishes to Kenyans attending pilgrimage in Islam’s holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
“We pray for their health, safety, success and safe journey back home,” Muhdhar said.
Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) National Organising Secretary Sheikh Mohamed Khalifa said the main objective of Eid ul Adha is to sacrifice animals to remember Prophet Abraham’s willingness to obey God by attempting to sacrifice his own son Ishmael.
Sheikh Khalifa said the animal to be slaughtered must be healthy, with the meat divided into three -- one for the family, one for neighbours and the third given to the poor.
“Muslims across the world sacrifice a sheep or goat as a reminder of Abraham’s total obedience to God,” he said.
The Hajji pilgrimage has been marked annually for 15 centuries in the holy city of Mecca, the birth place of Islam in Saudi Arabia
“Currently, the pilgrimage brings together an estimated two to three million Muslims from all races of the world,” Khalifa said.
The Hajji takes place in about six days during the Islamic Lunar month of “Dhul-Hijjah”.
In Mombasa, the Sharif Nassir Foundation has set up the Ronald Ngala School open grounds where majority of worshipers, including local county government officials, MPs and Imams will offer their prayers.
Livestock traders from North Eastern, Kwale, Taita Taveta, Tana River and Lamu are enjoying booming business as Muslims buy goats and sheep for the celebrations that usually end after a week.
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